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Easy holidays from Bristol

It’s absolutely pouring down outside and Tibbs has chickenpox, so we’re stuck indoors with CBeebies and a lot of anti-itching lotion. Naturally, my wandering mind has turned to holidays and sunnier times.

We’re so lucky to live in Bristol, because it puts such a huge amount of wonderful holiday locations within a two hour journey, which is incredible for a family with small children. On our last holiday to East Devon, we were home in time for lunch after an early check-out. I’ve got deeply unpleasant memories of crawling over my London doorstep late on a Sunday night, after a six-hour A303 ordeal and with the Sunday Fear gripping my back-to-work brain.

So where have we been in the last twelve months? Here’s my picks if you’re looking for a break or holidays from Bristol.

1. The aforementioned East Devon, in particular, Sidmouth and the surrounding villages such as Beer and Branscombe. Classic English bucket and spade stuff, on pebbly beaches with some sand too. Sidmouth is a glorious Regency seaside gem, with a fabulous seafront, one of the only cricket clubs with a seaward wicket, great independent shops to explore, and wonderful pubs. Branscombe is a stunning village, with two lauded pubs and the beachside Sea Shanty cafe and shop, which hasn’t changed much since I was a small child.

2. Shaldon and Teignmouth, South Devon. Opposite each other and connected by a short bridge over the Teign Estuary, it’s a wonderful spot for a family holiday. I love the regular ferry from beach to beach, the Ness Pub high in the rocks in Shaldon, the red sand and the peaceful atmosphere. For us it has the added bonus of having many friends living in and around the area, as my husband grew up close by.

The beach at Shaldon
The beach at Shaldon

3. Rock and Padstow, Cornwall. Slightly further drive, but worth it. The area gets a bit of a rough time for being posh and having Rick Stein, and some holidaying Royals and public school types in situ. I went there after my GCSEs and had the time of my life, and it was the location of our first family holiday with a baby, thanks to the loan of a caravan from a good friend. Awesome beach, great walking, incredible deli, and close to the Eden Project.

In the next twelve months, we’re going to explore Wales more, take in some of the beaches and also see more of Somerset. We stayed in Somerton over New Year, which is a very beautiful village. Where would you try?

ps – the pic of Tibbs and her dad waiting for the ferry is one of my favourites ever. I love the fact they are pulling exactly the same face.



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  1. I love Padstow. Chicken pox sucks, Tiger caught it a couple of weeks after Cherry so we had to spend the best part of a month indoors! x

  2. Such cute pictures. I haven’t been down to Devon/Cornwall on a proper holiday in ages but we used to go when I was a child and I want my kids to experience it. I think we might venture down next year. Thanks for the tips x

  3. I still haven’t been down to Sidmouth and I have had lots of friends recommend it. Consider it now on my list! x

  4. she’s such a happy little thing! Defo visit Pembrokeshire if you are looking for nice welsh beaches! Sorry to hear about the pox, what a pain but at least it’s over with now! x

  5. I haven’t been to Devon or Cornwall since I was about nineteen, but your photos have reminded me why I really need to go back again. I’d forgotten how lovely it is there!

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